Have you ever received a rejection letter? It's pretty much the worst piece of mail ever.
Today, however, I received someone else's rejection letter in the mail and it was a good thing. It was from the County courthouse, informing me that the degenerate who broke into our house two years ago was very recently denied release from the State Penitentiary. He asked, they said no. While I do not like to find happiness in other's misery, it made me smile.
You see, I have very mixed feelings about this particular situation. The man who broke into our house did so, we suspect, after watching
I didn't realize any of this until after I had been home for about 45 minutes. It shook me to my core. Was he still in there? Did he take anything else? How long has he been watching, waiting for the chance to come into our home and steal from us?
Eventually, he was caught. He and I are roughly the same age; he was a repeat offender on probation who was sentenced to four years in the State Pen. He broke into twelve homes over the course of six months. We would often see him walking up and down the road, collecting cans. Turns out, he was actually casing homes to burglarize. Part of me feels sorry for him; the Sheriff's office said he was a drug addict looking for quick money. The rest of me, however, is angry that he chose us.
It's awful to feel like you are not safe in your own home. To know that someone took what they deemed valuable from you, never really understanding how valuable it really was. Most of all, as I told the Prosecutor, he took things from me I cannot ever replace.
Monetarily speaking, those items were not worth much money; I imagine the jeweler didn't give him much for those pieces. But I wonder if he looked at the old, worn gold locket with the initials "MLS" engraved on the back and wondered who the sweet girl in the black & white photo inside was before it was melted down for scrap. Or, if he knew how many times I had spun the delicate gold ring with the big green stone around my finger on my wedding day. I will never get those things back--that's what hurts the most.
More than anything, I miss my ability to trust. I wish I could get my security back. It's more painful than you can imagine to never, ever feel safe in your own home. I still don't. I always wonder if someone is watching me. In the back of my mind, every time I return home, I hope my posessions are still there.
Seeing that denial letter today brought it all back to me again. It's funny that one piece of paper has that sort of effect on me, but it does. I remembered it all again, standing there in the kitchen, reading and re-reading that magic word: denied.
God bless the justice system.